What are some fun games to play in 2020?

Clockwise from top left: Microsoft Flight Simulator; Animal Crossing; The Last of Us Part II; Spider Man: Miles MoralesMicrosoft; Nintendo; Playstation (2)By Patrick Lucas Austin ,

What are some fun games to play in 2020?
best-video-games-2020

Clockwise from top left: Microsoft Flight Simulator; Animal Crossing; The Last of Us Part II; Spider Man: Miles MoralesMicrosoft; Nintendo; Playstation (2)By Patrick Lucas Austin , Eliana Dockterman , Peter Allen Clark and Alex FitzpatrickNovember 20, 2020 9:43 AM EST

In a bizarre, unsettling, and oftentimes downright frightening year, video games became a port of refuge for manybe they longtime gamers, old-school veterans picking the controller back up after a break, or first-timers looking for a novel way to safely have fun or connect with friends during pandemic lockdowns. Its a small blessing, then, that it was also a banner year for excellent games to play.

Here are TIMEs best video games of 2020, according to our group of resident gamers. Also read TIMEs lists of the 10 best fiction books of 2020 and the 100 must-read books of 2020.

10. Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1+2

Nostalgia is big business right now, but reworking old joy rarely delivers that original thrill. Enter Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 + 2. Against all odds, this remake recaptures the magic of these early aughts skateboarding games while refreshing them for modern consoles and audiences. Playing these games unlocks long-forgotten muscle memory, the hunger for high scores and the itch to jump on a skateboardnot to mention comfort during a difficult year. Peter Allen Clark

Available on PlayStation, Xbox and PC

9. Fall Guys

What happens when you combine the minigame mania of Mario Party with the battle royale, lose-and-youre-out pressure of Fortnite? Fall Guys, thats what. Its delightfully simple multiplayer mayhem was a welcome reprieve during our pandemic summer, and the fact that players often need to cooperate to secure individual victory belies a deeper message than its cartoonish stylings might suggest. Moreover, like Animal Crossing, its a welcome repudiation of the idea that games need to be hard to be enjoyablethey need only be fun. Alex Fitzpatrick

Available on PlayStation and PC

8. Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsofts Flight Simulator series has been the definitive virtual piloting experience for nearly 40 years, inspiring many players to pursue real-world flight training while offering a taste of the skies to countless more. The latest entrant in the series continues that proud tradition, combining true-to-life flight physics, downright gorgeous graphics and the most realistic facsimile of planet Earth to ever grace a video game for a must-play experience. Challenge yourself to some of the hardest commercial jet takeoffs or landings the world has to offer, or putt-putt over your hometown in a slow-moving Cub, marveling at the viewthe choice is yours. Alex Fitzpatrick

Available on PC; an Xbox version is in development

7. Call of Duty: Warzone

A free add-on to 2019s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Warzone is a Fortnite-style battle royale shooter, with just enough original ideas to feel fresh. Most Fortnite clones have come up short, but Warzones systems, strategies and progressions provided dozens and dozens of hours of distraction as we adjusted to spending more time at home during lockdown. And developer Infinity Ward has continued to support the experience with robust seasons, map changes and new ways to play this intense, addictive game. Peter Allen Clark

Available on PlayStation, Xbox and PC

6. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

The much-anticipated sequel to Moon Studios Ori and the Blind Forest does exactly what a sequel should, building on its predecessors foundation to create a more complex, more colorful and bigger world. In the games prelude, Ori and a host of other adorable characters adopt and raise a baby owl. But tragedy strikes when Ori and the baby bird are separated. The player then traverses a gorgeously-rendered landscape and solves a series of wicked little puzzles in a heart-wrenching reunification quest. The sheer scale of the game compared to its predecessor means some details get lost in the mix, like the player easily missing some important skills. But the challenges demand creativity and the backdrop inspires awe. Eliana Dockterman

Available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PC

5. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

The unofficial game of springtime pandemic lockdowns, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the latest entry in Nintendos long-running life simulator franchise. This time, youre dropped on an island where you (and a few anthropomorphic animal residents) set out to construct a communityand pay off your debt to the cheeseparing capitalist raccoon-dog that brought you there. When youre not building items for your home, you can enjoy New Horizons huge community of players partying, playing the turnip-powered stalk market, and even hosting talk shows all on their own custom-made virtual islands. Patrick Lucas Austin

Available on Nintendo Switch

4. Among Us

Deception is the name of the game in Among Us, a kind of digital Clue in which youre tasked with sussing out the impostor on your starship. Some players, called Crewmates, are assigned to minigame-style repair jobs around the ship, while the Impostor sets out to quietly disrupt and kill the Crewmates. Suspicious of someone? Call a meeting to discuss who might be an Impostor, then vote to throw them into the cold vacuum of spacejust be careful, because you could be wrong. Among Us childish, hand-drawn looks and PG-rated violence evoke early web games, and its spike in popularity among younger gamers has led high-profile figures like U.S. congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to use the game as a platform to meet voters where theyre at. Part social deduction, part mob rule, Among Us may have been released back in 2018, but its no wonder why its found widespread popularity this year. Patrick Lucas Austin

Available on iOS, Android, PC

3. Last of Us Part II

The post-apocalyptic The Last of Us Part II takes a lot of big swings that will surprise, frustrate and even enrage many playersbut they are thought-provoking risks. The sequel follows Ellie, all grown up and still immune to the virus that has transformed much of humanity into zombies, as she struggles with the consequences of a morally dubious decision made by her father figure Joel in the first game. Ellie is often on her own, which is a shame since creator Naughty Dog has historically excelled at building relationships through banter in both The Last of Us and the Uncharted series. But her loneliness serves a greater story: as Ellie loses human connection and becomes obsessed with vengeance, her enemies simultaneously evolve into more human figures. With sympathies divided, the player is faced with a series of devastating moral quandaries. The end will sit with you for months, if not years, to come. Eliana Dockterman

Available on PlayStation

2. Spider-Man: Miles Morales

When you think of Spider-Man, you might be thinking of a nerdy white guy called Peter Parker. But theres a second webslinger in New York, and this time hes grabbing the mic and taking center stage. Spider-Man: Miles Morales expands on the 2018 hit Spider-Man, putting you in the shoes of the titular Black-Puerto Rican teen after he moves from Brooklyn to Harlem, protecting the city while his mentor is on vacation. The game captures the feeling of zipping from building to building and fighting criminals in a wintery New York as Morales navigates the heartbreak of an evolving friendship, his relationship with his mother, and his new mandate to keep Harlem (and the rest of the city) safe from evildoers. Patrick Lucas Austin

Available on PlayStation

1. Hades

So-called Rogue-like games, which focus on difficulty, replayability and repeated deaths, have been in vogue for the past decade, but Hades marks the sub-genres highest peak yet. In this spectacular run-based game, players take on the role of Hades son Zagreus as he attempts to escape the Greek underworld, battling notable heroes and receiving support from the whole of the Pantheon. The art is stellar, the varied combat is delightful and the progression systems are inspired. Hades reinvents how a story can unfold in a game meant to be played over and over again. Peter Allen Clark

Available on Nintendo Switch, MacOS, and PC

Read the rest of TIMEs best-of 2020 coverage:

  • The 10 Best Fiction Books of 2020
  • The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2020
  • The 10 Best YA and Childrens Books of 2020
  • The 100 Must-Read Books of 2020
  • The 10 Best Movies of 2020
  • The 10 Best Movie Performances of 2020
  • The 10 Best TV Shows of 2020
  • The 10 Best Albums of 2020
  • The 10 Best Songs of 2020
  • The 10 Best Podcasts of 2020

Correction, November 21

The original version of this story misstated the availability of Hades. It is available on Nintendo Switch, MacOS, and PC, not PlayStation and Xbox.More Must-Read Stories From TIME


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Write to Patrick Lucas Austin at , Eliana Dockterman at  and Peter Allen Clark at .Read More From TIME

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